POV- What’s Your Pleasure?


Welcome to Week 6 of the MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge. This week’s topic is Point of View: Choices and Preferences.

Wow, is it really week 6 already?

My preference for writing is third person omniscient, from the narrator, or another character’s perspective.  This for me is easier as an observer of the story that plays out in my head like a movie. Most of the time.

Roxy Sings the Blues was written primarily from a first-person perspective, because it came to me as if I were sitting in a bar, interviewing Roxanne Winters.

One thing I absolutely do NOT like is head hopping. For my personal taste in reading and writing,  I understand the need to shift perspectives at times to get an idea of the other character(s) and their perspectives, their inner thoughts, and turmoil. The best way to handle this is at the beginning of chapters, or at least designated by headings.

I remember doing an edit for an author who had written their story from four different character’s perspectives.  It was confusing and I said as much.  The reader would have to be two pages into the chapter before they realized, oh,  this is from Joe’s perspective.

The author did not like my calls and chose to ignore it,  but then when they started getting bad reviews, they went back in and revised the story by adding headers at the beginning with just the character’s names.  It was enough to at least understand that it was someone else speaking.

I am not complaining about the author not taking my advice,  as the author it’s your choice to take edit calls OR NOT. I’ve disagreed with my editor at times on choice of word, a phrase, or expression, and even the POV.

The trick in fiction writing is to convince a reader this is real life. In real life, we only have one viewpoint—our own. We can’t step outside of ourselves and look at things from someone else’s perspective.

Well, I suppose you could,  if you were constantly trying to guess what they are thinking as you talk with them but I don’t think you would establish many relations, and I think you would drive yourself insane by doing such!

For that reason, to step out of viewpoint in fiction can shatter the illusion that the author is weaving. A reader instinctively realizes something is odd. He or she may not immediately pinpoint what it is, but a good editor will. As a reader, it just feels jarring or confusing.

Most successful short fiction is written in a single viewpoint. It can be first person, which automatically eliminates head-hopping but can be confining, or it may be third person, the form most often seen. In longer fiction,  like novel-length fiction, multiple or shifting POV is frequently used. But even then, a good writer only shifts POV when they also shift scenes or chapters.

One benefit to writing in first person,  it can help the reader to be in the scene,  to experience the world you have created and vicariously experience the emotional rollercoaster you are taking them on safely in their comfy chair. Third person can make the reader feel like an outsider or observer, at a distance.

To get the most emotional punch, I would suggest first person. If you are interested in that emotional roller coaster, I suggest you read Roxy Sings the Blues! Have tissues handy!

If you prefer third person narrative, try Red Wine & Roses for a steamy rendezvous!

A this is part of a blog hop, go check out what the other authors are saying HERE.

What POV do you prefer to read? What POV do you prefer to write?

FYI, I’m getting ready to drop my first newsletter with the latest scoop, dirt, recipes, and freebies.  If you are interested in getting my newsletter, go to:

newsletter sign-up

Life is good,  the results from the pathology stated that the pots they found were benign!  I am so relieved and happy. I may just do a happy dance!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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Reading, Writing, or Living? #MFRW


This past week,  I think my answer would have to be – *drum roll*

LIVING.

I  admire my friend Vicki’s work ethic.  She is diligent to get her writing time in every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t. My goal is to write for an hour five days a week and spend my weekends with family and taking care of those domestic things.  It is treating writing like a business, a business that I work five days a week.

However, I know many authors who say you should write daily to stay in the habit.  There is definitely something to be said for maintaining a good habit.  So what about those parts related to an author’s life that aren’t exactly the drafting or writing stage? What about proofreading? What about editing? What about the brainstorm sessions for a new idea, or trying o figure out your plot?

There is a lot more to writing than the first draft. Here, in a nutshell, is the summation of my week.

Authors are just like everyone else.  Our lives consist of numerous aspects. Somebody has to do the dishes, the dish fairies never show up! Someone has to do the laundry, the laundry fairies don’t show up either.  Of course,  this is the part of life we often omit in books because who wants to see the character folding laundry? Nobody!

What have you been up to, reading, writing, or living? Let me know in the comments.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Time Traveling Author


Hello everyone! Today is the first of a long series. I am going to try my best to participate in the MFRW 52 Week Challenge. Each week they have a prompt on the subject that is predefined, so there is an automatic topic. Not every one of them is something I would have chosen to divulge or share,  but I didn’t make the list. When we get to those, I’ll have to see how I feel about the prompt that week.

I missed the first prompt last week as I was just recovering from the flu or cold crud or whatever the heck it was that had me down. Instead, I’m jumping in on Week 2: Childhood Memories: A Walk Back in Time.

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, summertime

Step into the time machine with me as Sherman operates the controls. *wavy lines as we travel back through time*.

Memories of my childhood . . . wow, that’s a big can of worms to unleash.

Let’s start with my earliest memory. Now I know a lot of people say that you can’t remember things until you are 3 or 4,  but I distinctly remember playing on a blanket as my mother hung our clothes on the clothesline and the neighbor girls were sitting with me, playing patty cake.  I had a bottle and was wearing a diaper and couldn’t quite walk. I could stand up, wobble then plop down, to which they would applaud me wildly, prompting me to do it again.  What does that have to do with anything? It was a happy memory and the earliest memory.

I grew up in a rural area south of St. Louis, Missouri. Life was simpler back then. Middle-class America, small town where everyone knew everyone else and neighbor’s watched out for each other. We didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have handheld games unless you consider slingshots and BB guns.  I could hit a crabapple from twenty yards away with one rock. We had our imaginations, the outdoors, and real-life friends to hang out with.

The movie the Sand Lot is a good idea of the neighborhood ballgame we used to play. We gathered on a vacant lot next door to one of my friend’s house.  I brought a bat, others brought gloves and balls. We rode our bike to and from the lot. I was usually early and would sit on the ground with my friend Eddie until others arrived. I don’t ever remember getting into any kind of fight with Eddie, not even through high school. Since then we’ve lost touch but I often wonder what he’s up to.

We spent every minute we could outdoors. Because if you were indoors, then Mom could tell you to do additional chores.  Who wanted that? We caught lightning bugs and made glow in the dark jewelry by pinching off their butts. I know,  it sounds gross now and cruel but we didn’t think about that as kids. We rode our bikes throughout the day without the aid of Fitbits. Who knew how many miles we racked up and who cared! We would go as fast as we could, taking the corners at an angle, just to see who could do it the lowest.

We had three spots where we gathered: the empty lot for softball, the corner at the upper street next to Mr. Aubuchon’s farm, and the entry to the quarry at the top of the hill, both of which were stopping points for riding our bikes.

None of us had water bottles. Occasionally, we’d stop at someone’s house and often take drinks from the hose.

We didn’t have to worry about stranger danger, everyone knew who was from around there and who wasn’t.

There were no known incidents of child abductions. There were a few kids who ran away from home into the woods behind our small community but were later returned home. I ran away a couple of times myself.  The first time I ran away up to my Aunt and Uncle’s house that lived on the street above ours.  When it was time for dinner and I didn’t come home, my mother called my aunt and she said yes I was in the backyard with my cousins playing ghosts in the graveyard. They were never worried.

Another time I had read a book from the Scholastic book fair,  about a boy who lived on the other side of the mountain and lived on acorns.  I packed a backpack, stuffed some ritz crackers and a jar of peanut butter in my pack, a couple of shirts, a couple of apples, and a paper lunch sack full of my mom’s oatmeal cookies. I made it as far as the remains of a log cabin that had burned down many years before. There was a stone fireplace, a few rotted logs, and some wrought iron sticking out of the ground. It was getting near dusk and I heard coyotes. My little legs moved as fast as they could back home. Washing in the sink in the typical bird bath style when told to wash up before dinner.

When asked where I’d been all day, I said exploring. I told them about the rocks I found in the creek. I shared about the bunnies and the snake I came across. I told my dad all about the “ancient” cabin ruins, asking him to take me back there because we might find some archaeological discovery that we would need to send to the museum.

My mother was a girl scout leader and had taken her troop to the St. Louis art museum a few weeks before and I was fascinated.

My mother asked after regaling my father with my explorations if I had taken some of her cookies. I jumped down, got the bag or what was left of the bag from my backpack and brought them to her simply saying “explorers need snacks.”

Nowadays, an 8-year-old girl wandering the woods alone would be cause for alarm. Where are her parents? Why is she in the woods alone? She’s in danger! The only time I felt in danger back then was when I heard the coyotes and realized I didn’t have any place to be safe overnight.

Life was simpler. We had to use our imaginations,  something I feel that today’s kids are handicapped by not using.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? How do you feel about the times when you grew up as opposed to today’s youth?  Be sure to check out the other authors participating in this blog tour!

Write on my friends, write on!

Be sure to check out my books!

Tempting Fate – LIVE today!


✰✰ NEW RELEASE ✰✰

Title: Tempting Fate Anthology

Authors: Maria Vickers ~ Amy Marie ~ Taylor Anhalt ~ Amy McKinely ~ JC Santo ~ Jade Royal ~ Rosie Chapel ~ Maggie Adams ~ Shannon Nemechek ~ Crystal St. Clair ~ Samatha Harris ~ Elizabeth Princeton ~ Bella Emy ~ Shelby Reeves ~ Ellie Mack ~ Jasmina Siderovski ~ Darlene Tallman

 

 

 

 

Release: June 1, 2018- Which means it’s LIVE today!!!!!!

Genres: Contemporary/NA/MM/YA Romance

Designer: Nemo Designs

Photographer: CJC Photography

Model: David Wills

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38332960-tempting-fate

Blurb:

Sometimes in life, something happens that will not only affect you, it will create a ripple effect, encompassing your family and friends. Hope will help you to overcome and survive, but your life and outlook are forever changed.

This collection of stories is about overcoming obstacles, surviving when it seems hard or impossible, and dealing with life-changing events.

 

**All proceeds will benefit Cancer Research Institute.

 

 

 

Authors:

Maria Vickers, Amy Marie, Taylor Anhalt, Amy McKinley, JC Santo, Jade Royal, Rosie Chapel, Maggie Adams, Shannon Nemecheck, Crystal St. Clair, Samantha Harris, Elizabeth Princeton, Bella Emy, Shelby Reeves, Ellie Mack, Jasmina Siderovski, Darlene Tallman

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://a.co/aYsS1M3

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2GUq0qN

Amazon CA: http://a.co/gGFrLh7

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/4gtK6ky

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2Hw67Yi

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GVK9kA

Universal Link for everything else: https://www.books2read.com/u/3nOdM5

 

This has been an amazing project and I am blessed to be included in this! Thank you, Maria Vickers, for all that you’ve done,  Thank you to David Wills – your foreword summed it up beautifully, Thank you, TA Black – it looks beautiful inside, Thank you Shannon Nemecheck for the beautiful cover! 

If you have preordered, your book should download today.  IF you haven’t,  then buy it now! ALL proceeds go to Cancer Research Institute.

Please leave a review after reading to let us know what you think.  If you feel you can’t leave an honest good review, please contact me, or one of the authors to tell us why.

I received an ARC copy of this book for review,  and my review is on Amazon –  5 STARS!

Thank you!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Who’s Who In Mackworld


Welcome readers to Week 18 of the MFRW Blog hop.

Week 18: How I work up Character/Setting Profiles.

 

How do I “do” characters and setting?

You really want to get into this? Surely there are better things to discuss, like plot points, the beach, coffee. 

*waits for MFRW to change their minds* 

NO?  OK, well this isn’t going to be pretty.  You might want to grab a rain poncho or something.

Characters:

My characters come to my mind, as if they had popped into the office and made a request. Imagine that you are the receptionist for a small company and a woman comes in.

“Good afternoon, how may I help you?” My fingers move from the keyboard to grab the pen and notepad.

She looks around nervously. “I have an appointment with Mr. McDaniels for ten.”

“Please fill out these forms.”

I pass the clipboard across the counter to the woman as I open a new client screen. When she returns the clipboard,  I enter her name, address, the reason for visit, and any other pertinent information. I begin to process what I’ve entered and then it gets weird. It’s like I trade places with the “boss” whether he’s a private eye, a counselor, or a physician. The character then tells me the details of her visit.

As she tells me what’s going on and what her concerns are,  I begin to learn who she is.

Now, in reality, I may be working at the day job.  I may be doing housework or I might be driving in the car. All of this goes on inside my brain until I can get to a point where I can sit down and start jotting thoughts down. A friend gave me a character development worksheet that I fill out, but to be honest it’s only partially filled out before the story fully develops.

I’ve said before that I am a plotter –  I have been using the W method that the wonderful Karen Docter taught me. This gives me a basic outline that I can fill in the important scenes in between the 9 major plot points. This still allows the freedom to “pants it” while I am making my first draft.

Usually as I am learning my character,  the details on setting come out from their first “visit”.

I have had some characters come to me fully developed and practically begging me to write their story, and then others seem a little shy and I have to play twenty questions to dig the information out of them.

Bran, the brother in Kiss of the Dragon came to me fully developed, showing up in my “office” stark naked, fully muscled, demanding my full attention RIGHT NOW.   Unfortunately,  I was really green when I did the draft of that one during nano and it needs major revisions, which is why it’s still in the files.

Julia from Red Wine & Roses was the shy one.  She was hesitant to talk about herself.  I had to pry the information from her while Derek wanted to talk inside my head for hours. Great dude,  shut up while I find out about Julia!

Settings: As I learn the character and their story,  the setting becomes clearer. Whether it’s the town they are in, the state, or a small little convenient mart, it’s part of them, part of their story.

I know it would make more sense to make up characters by sitting down and deciding OK, this one will be a male,  dark hair, beard no wait a goattee,  blue eyes, a scar above his brow, thin lips, tats on his arms and chest, a scar on his thigh. Let’s say he got the scars from a car accident. Let’s call him Joe.  It doesn’t always work that way. By the way,  this is the description of a character for a piece that I’ve been working on in the background, kind of a pshycho-thriller. If you are judging by appearances you might think he’s the antagonist but he isn’t. He’s sort of an antihero. but I don’t have my W worked out, or what his goal is, or his end game. We just met a few weeks ago, so I don’t even know his name yet.

Nathan’s story unfolded quickly. It was like I was a fly on the wall watching his story unfold like a movie behind my eyes if that makes sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to Preorder your copy of Tempting Fate: Charity Anthology today!

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

Love In Its Many Splendid Forms


Welcome readers to Week 17 of the MFRW Blog hop.

This weeks prompt is: Favorite Romance Genre to Read or Write.

I started five times to do last week’s prompt and walked away with it unposted. Last Friday was my anniversary date for diagnosis and I was an emotional wreck.

Sorry guys,  I tried but just couldn’t seem to string together cohesive thoughts.

However, today is a new day and this week – I got this! I can sum this whole blog post up in one sentence:

My Favorite Romance Genre to Read or Write is a satisfying romance with a happy ending.

What do you mean that isn’t a genre? Yes, it is.

AHEM> It seems management is not happy with my answer so let me expound. (Like you didn’t think I would?  Is this your first time here????)

Favorite Romance Genre to Read:

I have read everything from Steeple Hill Christian romance to Triple X erotica and everything in between.  I have read Historical Romance and some I greatly enjoy like Lynn Kurland – I love her world and how her characters all link together. Ms. Kurland’s books often involve time travel to a previous century. She also has some about ghosts. Outlander is an Historical Romance as well as time travel. If you have not read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series – from start to finish at least once,  then how can you call yourself a romance fan???

I know that most everyone expects Nora Roberts to be at the top of a romance fan’s list, but I have to be honest. Meh!  I like some of her older stuff. The Reef had me turning pages! Key of Knowledge, Key of Valor – I liked those. Rising Tides and that series was awesome. The series – sorry I can’t remember the titles – about the Irish brothers and sister, those were phenomenal. But, in my humble opinion, her stories just got too formulaic for me. No, I have not read her work as JD Robb.

I can’t talk about romance without my favorites – Katie McAlister always has number one position. It doesn’t matter which book, I love her sense of humor whether it’s a contemporary or paranormal. Trust me, I’ve read them all.  One day I will have an autographed book from her.

My second favorite is Karen Marie Moning’s  Highlander series. Love those Scots! Then, of course, we get into The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Christine Feehan and of course we can’t leave off Charlaine Harris. I mean after all, who doesn’t love a southern vamp?

I’ve read many Indy authors as well as mainstream. I am a diehard Jane Austen fan since high school. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Catherine Coulter, Karen Docter, and Gena Showalter’s Darkest series all have high marks from me.

I prefer traditional male-female romances. I tend to reread authors I liked, hence the list above.  Many times I’ve perused the shelves and had three or four in my hand,  then selected two out of those for purchase – one from an author I’ve read before and a new author. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many Harlequin romances I read. Some were good some were meh and some were really bad.

To me, the most satisfying romance story is one that meets the happily ever after ending.

Ironically, Katie McAlister’s Aisling Grey series aren’t HEA, but I adore them.

I have to mention here another favorite, Louise Rennison. When my daughters were in their early teens,  we picked up the first of her books –  Angus Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging.

I About Died from laughing so hard!

Ms. Rennison’s books are teen romances, full of angst, melodrama, and hilarious hijinks. If you haven’t read them  – DO IT! Everyone needs a good laugh! The only other book that I laughed as hard was Katie McAlister’s Corset Diaries.

As to writing, so far I’ve written contemporary romance but this next one that I am working on, which is actually written and now in revisions, is a paranormal romance.

I don’t think I could write a historical romance,  you have to be such a stickler for details.  I greatly enjoy reading them,  but I don’t get all hung up on whether they have twenty-six buttons down the back or a tie string on their pantaloons,  and oh wait, they didn’t wear pantaloons beneath their dressed at that time. I’m more interested in the interactions between the hero and heroine, and what happens between them whether it ends with a first kiss or full disclosure details that you feel like you need a smoke afterward;  and I don’t smoke!

All of my books have an element of romance,  although romance isn’t the main focus of this next one. The basic desire in each of us for companionship, passion, desires, and to have someone who loves us unconditionally, I believe is a very real driver for the vast majority of us. Fans of romance get that when they read our books.

We can experience vicariously the rollercoaster ride of falling in love, heartbreak, restoration, danger, mayhem, terror, and satisfaction without leaving the safety of our living room. Isn’t that the root of all successful books?

What subgenres in romance do you like to read?

Mine, right???  RIGHT??? 

Well, if you haven’t read mine yet,  here’s a little bargain for you to try them! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

5 Authors I’d Like to Meet


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!

Welcome to week 6: 5 Authors I’d Like to meet (dead or alive).

Mark Twain –  I was greatly inspired by Mark Twain when I was younger, and after visiting Hannibal, Missouri I was even more motivated. For a man who wrote sagacious wit,  he lived a tragic life. It makes me realize how much we often take for granted and motivates me to do better. I would love to sit down over a cup of coffee or tea with him and ask a million questions and let him regale me with his sardonic humor.

J.R.R. Tolkien – To get inside his head! Oh my, can you just imagine?? Where did he get the ideas for . . . (fill in the blank) What inspired specific characters?  Did he write linear? Did he write chronologically? Who did he feel influenced him?

Anne McCaffrey – The queen of all things dragon! Oh to discuss her dragon world would be amazing!

Katie McAlister – I would LOVE to sit down over lunch and talk shop with this amazing woman. I adore her sense of humor, her writing style and OK, it would probably have to be a full day’s worth because I would fangirl her so hard for the first several hours. SQUEAL!!!!   Seriously though,  I would love to meet her in person.

Chatty Chicks (Cathy Brockman, Vicki Locey, Misty Harvey, Amity Riles, and Emily Joy Grace Thompson! These women have kept me writing when I was so close to throwing in the towel numerous times.  They have shared my ups and downs.  They’ve offered a cyber shoulder to cry on, a cyber party to share our victories, and numerous hours of writing sprints! We would need a supply of coffee and cocoa, maybe some biscuits to snack on and several hours to visit in person. (OK, technically this is more than 5, but there is no way I could pick one of my chatty chick sisters and not the others, it’s a package deal!)

On a similar note, last year at Penned Con I got the chance to meet Angie Fox! I’ve adored her for years. When I found out she was a local St. Louisan, I hoped that some day I could meet her and I DID!!! By the way, she’s just as amazing in person. I hope I didn’t emberass her by fangirling her. I tried to act cool, but you know how it is, right?  I don’t think I could have been any less cool if I had met Jensen Ackles in person. GAH!!!

Go check out what the other authors are saying in this blog hop. You can find their links here:

MFRW 52 Week Challenge

Write on my friend, write on!

What Awaits in 2018? #MFRW


Week 52 – the last, final post for 2017 blog challenge.

Colorful fireworks over a night sky

I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions several years ago,  but I do set goals for myself for the coming year. What’s the difference? A resolution is something you hope happens.  A goal, a smart goal is something you set for yourself with a specific framework and a deadline.

This past year – 2017 my goals were as effective as resolutions. Why? CANCER.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see that one coming.  I let it derail me. I was shocked, stunned, reeling from the diagnosis. Then the whirlwind of prompt action from the doctors had my head spinning. The only time doctors act swiftly is when it’s a serious matter,  so I felt an additional stress imagining the worst –  what if it was stage 4, what if it had metastasized, what if . . .  but it wasn’t the case. THANK GOD, mine wasn’t nearly as bad as some. Praise the Lord –  it was found early.

The point is though,  they were swift in all their actions and then rushed me to treatment. I barely had time to think. It was the next appointment, the next treatment.  I lost control of my life from March through August.

In August, I evaluated where I was in comparison to the goals I had set for myself and cried. Seriously,  I just sat there crying for nearly an hour before I decided to do something about it. Then I looked at what I could do and pushed myself to get Roxy completely revised so that I would have at least one book for Penned Con.

I did manage to lose some weight, although the goal I had set for myself was 50 pounds,  I have lost 46 pounds. Still a win! (It was a 48 but I had extra portions over the holidays.)

From September through now, it’s been a difficult battle with dropping pounds as the medication that I have to take is known to cause weight gain. In addition to my slow fat storing metabolism,  I now have an additional obstacle, but I’m winning, slowly!

I had set a goal for myself to read 100 books this year, didn’t make that one.  I have read 25. Most of those have been hard copy print books. The ability to focus was lost during treatments. Chemo brain is a very real thing. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and counting this as a win as well because I have managed to read most of those since August.

What about 2018?

What goals will I set for myself this coming year?

  1. Publish 5 books in 2018: Valkyries Curse: The Awakening, Book 2: Trial of Aegir, and Realm WArs book 1 –  I haven’t decided on a title for that one yet. This is the precursor to Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price – which has been finished for ages,  but held back because my former media coach advised me to write the prequel first. In addition,  the release of The Blood Key in a fantasy anthology, then I will release in paperback in September. And one other one – I may have to do a poll with my readers to see which one they are more interested in because I can’t decide.
  2. Continue with healthy eating and lose 40 more pounds.
  3. MOVE! We plan to move closer to where my husband works because now he commutes for an hour each way. I have discovered one major flaw in our moving plans,  they don’t have a community pool in that area, so my aquacize classes will be gone. My solution?  We need a pool of our own! (You like how I worked that in there?  You think I could maybe get a tax write off for medical therapy??)
  4. Finally get my office! We’ve been through this before, I’ve worked hard to clean an area in the basement, shared pictures on here then it was promptly taken over for another use. Can’t even tell you how pissed off it made me. Then with cancer, I honestly didn’t have the energy to fight it.
  5. Enjoy living! Carve out time to spend with ones I love and care about, do the things I enjoy, have some fun in life! This will become a priority because I am prone to get overwhelmed with all the things that should happen that I forget to enjoy everyday life. Stress less and live more!

That’s it. Those are my goals for this next year. Not a twenty point bulletin of overachiever perfection. Not a ten point attack on every area of my life. Not even a 12 month, 12 item list of things I’d like to see happen. Simple, basic, achievable yet challenging goals that will improve our quality of life.

Cancer changes things.  It really made me see how much time I waste on fretting over things that don’t really matter, conceding on things that do matter to me, and wishing I had more time for what really matters –  the people in our lives.

What about you? What are your 2018 goals and dreams? Not going to say resolutions, because we blow those before the end of January!

You can find the other authors participating in this blog hop HERE!

This post is included in the prize drawing for the flash fiction fest –  so leave your comment!  All commenters are entered in drawing for this week’s prizes. (See post yesterday for the list of prizes, I don’t feel like typing it in yet again!) All entries will be put through randompicker and the winner will be selected!

Best wishes to each of you, and have a Happy New Year!

Write on my friends, write on!

A Word of Advice #MFRW


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • Free e-book for Red Wine & Roses, contemporary romance
  • Swag bag
  • e-book of What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk (The Writerpunk Project Book 4)
  • e-book of Holiday Fling, contemporary romance

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post ( or rather Tuesday as it’s been lately, since my internet connection has been sketchy.) That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

So, even though this isn’t a flash feature,  any comments will still count towards the prizes.

MFRW blog hop week 51 – Advice for new authors. Just one more week to go!

What advice would you give newbies? What advice do you wish that others would have given you when you were a newbie?

Those are the two main questions that I ‘ve been contemplating for this post.  I have to admit, it took a bit of contemplating to decide which tidbits to share. A couple of pots of coffee, a few oatmeal cookies – sugar-free of course, to dunk in my coffee, and my trusty notepad to jot down what came to my mind.

These are the three bits of advice that I wish someone would have shared with me. I hope it helps you if you are an aspiring author.

  1. Decide what you want to write. What genre do you feel comfortable with? What length of work do you feel comfortable with?

There are other options for a writer besides book-length novels. When I first began writing,  I wrote articles for magazines, and for a column in our local paper. The short 1000 word articles rolled off my fingers with minimal effort. But, my dream was to be a published author like my idol Katie McAlister. It is difficult to make myself focus on longer length works,  but oh so satisfying to hit ‘the end’.

2. Schedule time for your writing. Make it a priority. If you write whenever you have time,  you’ll find everything in the world crowding out your writing time. Make an appointment with yourself and KEEP IT! Just as if it were a doctor’s appointment. IF this is what you really want, then make your goals a priority!

3. Stick to one project at a time! (Best advice I ever got from my friend Vicki Locey! Thank you, Vicki!) I’m the world’s worst at having too many irons in the fire, with multiple books in the works. It wasn’t until I made myself focus on one project and stick with it to completion that I got my books published. Notice,  that completed does not mean published. I have five books that are completed but need revisions and editing before they are publishable.  It’s ok to jot down ideas for new stories while you work on your current WIP. FOCUS is a key factor to success as an author. I have to admit my ADD tendencies fight me on this point. I made myself a system of rewards for tackling the current WIP first, before anything else. For instance, when I have my writing time, lately has been in the afternoons because of doctor appointments, I set my timer, and write until the timer goes off. Now I may get up and get a cup of coffee or cocoa,  or run to the bathroom, but during that time I write. Most days I manage about 1200 words. Then I reward myself. Maybe it’s coloring in my planner, it’s one of those adult coloring book planners. Maybe I play a game for a bit or jot down notes for another story. If time allows or if I am really in the zone, I may work on writing for a longer period of time.

If you can master those three things, you are well on your way to success!

You can read other participating authors HERE.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

That’s A Win!


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have a few author friends who have joined me in this challenge and are contributing to the prize baskets!

 

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • ebook for Red Wine & Roses
  • Author Swag bag
  • ebook of Protected By His Grace by Grace Augustine

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. The winner can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

I apologize for not getting it posted on Monday, it’s been a rough couple of days.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

I am still posting for the MFRW blog hop on Fridays and the WEWRIWA on Sundays. The comments on those posts count as well!

MFRW blog hop week 50 – My Biggest  Accomplishment.

You know,  just when I think I got this in the bag,  they throw a wrench into my gears.

Uh, give me a few minutes to figure this one out.  Have a cup of coffee, a few snacks while I fish out the wrench.

I was going to post this animated short about a guy trying to fix an engine and tossing all sorts of parts around,  but then I saw Harry and well. . . I’m partial.

~~~~~~~

I think that my biggest accomplishment, pertaining to being an author was getting my first book published. It was the barrier that I just couldn’t seem to break through, then a small print publisher showed interest in me. I was over the moon ecstatic!

I’ve learned a lot about the business of writing, about publishing, marketing – got a lot more to learn on the marketing front. I will always be grateful that they published me!

Fast forward, the small publishing house and I have parted ways, and I’ve published 2 more books.  Most of what I learned through this experience, helped me have the confidence to publish the others. There is definitely some satisfaction in each one,  but getting past that first barrier . . . well, I spent years submitting my work to multiple publishers, large houses and small, and I was on the verge of quitting and shelving my dreams permanently.

In my personal life, you already know what I’m going to say. You knew it was coming so I’m just going to lay it out there –  I beat cancer! So far! I am 7 months cancer free, but they won’t say a survivor until you’ve been clear for 3 years.  I have 2 years and 5 months to go! This year has changed my life profoundly, it would take an entire year to tell you every aspect that has been affected by this diagnosis.

It helped me sort my priorities.  I made myself a priority – something that was foreign to me as a mom and caregiver. I had neglected me for many years. I made my health a priority.  I’ve lost 42 pounds so far this year. I guess there is hope that I might squeeze in a few more for the year, but I count that as a win also.  I eat a healthy diet now that is cancer patient friendly. Very limited in carbs, zero sugar, (not counting fruit –  I eat fresh fruit), and packed full of phytonutrients.

My skin is clearer than it has been for years.  My hair,  well I have hair, hallelujah!  It’s a different look for sure,  but . . . I’m cancer free.

This picture was taken in 2015 at my sister’s wedding. Doesn’t the hubs look sexy as hell in a suit????  We both clean up pretty good on occasion.

 

 

This was the back. I miss my long hair.

 

 

 

 

 

Then cancer treatment took over my life:

Still adjusting to this new look. Sorry for the no makeup shock – I guess there should have been a warning!

OH, and if you were wondering what to get me for Christmas,  ear muffs, sock caps, hats, and those crochet bands that cover ears would be great! I’m not used to my ears being exposed. I don’t know how guys do it!

I’m exercising regularly.  Not running marathons or anything super strenuous,  I’m doing an aquacise class and loving it.  45 minutes of cardio a day for four to five days a week. It was one of the things recommended for cancer patients,  that is easy on the joints.  I haven’t talked about it too much,  but the tamoxifen causes joint pain.  There are days I’m nearly in tears. It’s a constant reminder for me to drop the excess weight and continue on a healthy road and to eat right.

I’ve eliminated environmental toxins from our home, from our food, from anywhere that I can control. I don’t eat processed foods – no sausage, bacon or anything with carcinogens. No lunchmeats, hot dogs, bologna, processed cheese, or Doritos. ( Yeah, I even gave up my Doritos.) I don’t eat the processed cereal, prepackaged anything.  The closest to processed that we get is an occasional splurge by buying chicken strips from the deli.

I’m making meditation, prayer time, mental health a priority to reduce stress. I spend a lot of my time driving back and forth to lymphedema therapy and doctors appointments. I have good music in the car that is relaxing to me, as well as audiobooks.

I’m making my goals and dreams a priority and not pressuring myself with ridiculous schedules. I see some authors bragging about running on the frazzled edge all of the time. They have more books out than me,  but you know what? I’m at peace.

I can do what I can do,  and do my best every day. Somedays my best is managing to get to appointments, maybe get  100 words down, a little bit of housework done. Somedays I can go 90 to nothing for a short time. Then there are those days when I can manage to feed myself and have my wits about me.  I have learned to accept that on those days I need rest.  On those days, I can’t push.

I have learned to take care of me.  When I am at my best,  then I can give out to others and be a blessing to them. But if I am depleted,  I have nothing to give.

I think I have to change my biggest accomplishment –  it’s not getting my first book published, it’s learning to take care of myself so that I can be a blessing to others.

Call me a sentimental sap if you will. I’ve learned a lot this past year. Being the true strong-willed person and blockhead,  I had to learn it the hard way. Lessons learned the hard way are not soon forgotten!  I can honestly say that I have a better quality of life than I did before the cancer diagnosis.

Now if I could just say the same for the state of my home. Maybe I’ll tackle the clutter for a bit before I start wrapping gifts.

What would you say that your biggest accomplishment is?  As always, you can find the other MFRW blog hop participants HERE.

Write on my friends, write on.